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Kraft Heinz is the latest fmcg giant to rely on price hikes to lift sales and protect margins against increased input costs.

Organic net sales increased 3.9% to $6.7bn in the final quarter of 2021 and by 1.8% for the year as a whole.

However, despite increases in Canada and international markets, overall revenues slipped by 3.3% in the quarter as the disposal of its natural cheese business to Lactalis in November reduced numbers for the US market.

It left sales down 0.5% to $26bn for 2021 versus the prior year as the group lapped figures enhanced by elevated demand throughout the pandemic.

Pricing was up 3.8 percentage points compare with 2020 as Kraft Heinz battled inflationary headwinds.

“Our strategic transformation has powered another year of outstanding performance,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio.

“Our achievements are proof that our scale and agility have led to better results and greater relevance with customers and consumers.

“We are generating efficiencies to fuel incremental investments in our business, which, along with successful pricing, are mitigating inflationary pressures.

Net profits tumbled 184% to $1bn, with the group falling to a $255m loss in the final quarter, as it wrote down the value of the Kraft brand following the cheese acquisition.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 4.5% to $6.4bn for the year - but remained higher than pre-pandemic levels - as the group was hit by higher commodity costs for dairy, meat and coffee, as well as increased packaging costs and inflation in procurement, logistic and manufacturing.

Kraft Heinz said it expected to deliver a “strong” financial performance in 2022, forecasting low single-digit percentage increase in organic sales for the year.